What It’s Like Teaching Online at the University of Denver

I’ve been teaching online courses for the University of Denver‘s University College for about a year now, both undergraduate and graduate programs in marketing, business and communications. If you don’t know, I have a Masters in Education and a Masters in Business Administration, as well as many years of adult education through various organizations. I’ve taught and guest lectured at over a dozen different colleges and find that I really enjoy teaching and exploring concepts…Read More

2020 BMW X3 xDrive30e: Great Hybrid, Confusing EV

I’ve had a string of BMW vehicles to test out, which has been really fun as I don’t often get behind the wheel of this well-known premium German brand. BMW, in case you don’t know, stands for Bayerische Motoren Werke AG or, in a happy coincidence of translation, Bavarian Motor Works. The company was actually founded in 1916 and started out making aircraft engines, of all things. The first BMW vehicle wheeled out of the…Read More

My Love/Hate Relationship with the 2021 GMC Yukon 4WD AT4

I definitely consider myself an environmentalist, support environmental groups like the Sierra Club and do all the things we’re supposed to do, including reducing my energy footprint, recycling as much as I can and making purchase decisions based on how green products are. I constantly harp on the fuel inefficiency of most modern cars and trucks when I write a review. Which is why I’m so torn with the GMC Yukon: It has horrible mileage…Read More

Play With Your Food with The “Color My Cookie” Decorating Kit!

There’s something about decorating food that’s just great fun. I have hosted many cookie decorating and cupcake decorating parties for my kids! Heck, back when I was in college, we used to have make your own pizza parties where people brough toppings and we all made French Bread pizzas. Perhaps slightly less artistic but equally tasty and enjoyable. My kids are older now, of course, but I had a sense that my youngest, who just…Read More

Zipping About in the 2021 Plug-In Hybrid BMW 330e

A couple of years ago I had the chance to drive the 2018 BMW 530e through the Colorado Rocky Mountains on a beautiful summer afternoon. I loved it. The energy efficiency of the plug-in hybrid coupled with the zippy driving experience and luxurious design that’s a BMW trademark definitely kicked up my vehicle envy more than a little bit. Three years later I was offered the chance to get behind the wheel of a brand…Read More

Game Review: Micro City – Solo Play

Hang around board gamers long enough and you’ll learn that there are names for certain types of common gaming mechanisms. “Area control” games are those where you compete to gain control of a specific region on the playing board, for example, and “push your luck” games reward bold players, with increasing rewards, against increasing risks. Catan is an example of the former, while Zombie Dice is a classic push-your-luck game. Another very common game mechanic…Read More

Film Review: WWII Horror Adventure “Shadow in the Cloud”

While WWII is a popular era for horror films, with perhaps the greatest example being the surprisingly good 2018 film Overlord [read my review], it’s usually because Nazis are such easy bad guys and such a lazy source of monster makers. The new film Shadow in the Cloud, however, runs with an entirely different evil; conscience and morality, as embodied not in a cute cricket – sorry Pinocchio! – but in a malevolent gremlin. Structured…Read More

Film Review: Disappointing “Wonder Woman 1984”

I really wanted to love the new Wonder Woman movie. After all, Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) is a fun and engaging character, particularly in her super-powered Wonder Woman guise. She’s a superhero with heart and compassion, quick to stop the bad guys but just as likely to help a child regain their lost soccer ball or favorite toy. The first film, 2017’s Wonder Woman, was mostly great fun with General Ludendorff (Danny Houston) a suitably…Read More

All The Best Books I Read in 2020

While I spend inordinate amounts of time staring at computer screens and TV screens, I read quite a bit too. This is typically split between listening to audio books while driving, ebooks on my iPad Mini and physical books, though this year I’ve eschewed the Kindle and Apple iBooks route in preference to printed, physical copies. Most come from my public library, which has a great hold and pickup system, but I buy lots of…Read More

Film Review: Goofy, Hilarious “The Croods 2: A New Age”

When Dreamworks released the nutty animated film The Croods in 2013, my family loved it. Endlessly inventive, great visual eye candy, frenetic action and a parade of daft caveman era jokes added up to one of the funniest movies of the year. Since then, The Croods has always been a go-to film for my kids over quite a few other possible animated features. The story is of a tight-knit neolithic family having to leave their safe…Read More

The 2020 Buick Encore GX: Not Your Father’s SUV

Buick has been making automobiles for an unimaginably long time. The company made its first cars back in 1899, though the company was then called Buick Auto-Vim and Power Company and focused more on marine engines. Like many American car manufacturers, Buick has risen and fallen through the decades and has ended up with a reputation for stodgy cars that your parents might like, but probably nothing to check out if you want modern, sporty,…Read More

Delicious Coffee from a Tea Bag with Mr. Espresso

I enjoy a nice cup of tea, but I consume a lot more coffee than tea on a typical week. Which sporadically leads to a bit of beverage envy: Tea drinkers can bring a tea bag with them on a hike, stash bags in their desk or even make a cup of their favorite tea while on the road. Coffee drinkers? We generally are at the mercy of whatever brew is available, whether good, sublime…Read More

Film Review: Creepy Indie Horror film “Toys of Terror”

Ask any teen and they’ll tell you, there’s just something creepy about dolls. Pixar reminded us with its tremendously popular Toy Story franchise that toys might just have lives of their own. Hopefully not like Chucky from Child’s Play, Annabelle from the series of the same name or the violent little dolls from the terrific Puppet Master series. But what if the dolls and toys are actually animated by evil intention, not the love and…Read More

Inconsistent Luxury in the 2021 Lexus NX 300h Luxury AWD SUV

Watch an old movie where they’re driving and you’ll get the distinct impression that the first era of automobiles was about the driving experience, not the experience of being in a car while motoring from point A to point B. There were exceptions, the super fancy cars for rich folk like a Rolls-Royce or Bentley, but generally speaking, it was all about speed, handling, steering, and reliability. At some point along the way the interiors…Read More

Game Review: Amazing Jungle Run — Solo Play!

All those books about surviving in the Amazon rainforest turn out be darn useful when you’re stuck in the jungle, fighting to escape! A card collecting game for 1-4 players by BuddyPal Games, The Amazing Jungle Run is quick and fun for family play, a zippy filler game for game nights while waiting for the rest of the group to show up, or as an entertaining solo play. I opted to compete against the dummy…Read More

Relearn Time Telling with the Funky Seizmore Ambitio Watch

While I hardly view myself as any sort of fashion icon – and 10x during this working at home phase during the ‘rona – I do get men’s fashion and lifestyle companies reaching out to see if I’d like to check out their gear. Always much appreciated and what guy can’t up their fashion game, even if just a little bit? So when the site Trendhim invited me to find something in their catalog, I…Read More

2021 Kia Seltos SX Turbo: Love The Car, But Oh! That Color

I drive a compact SUV – known in the biz as a CUV – so I am primed to like other vehicles in the same category. The Toyota RAV4, the Honda CR-V and, yes, the Kia Seltos are all in the same class as my Mazda CX-5, and they all price out similarly at around $30K. A good group to compare, and as I’m a big fan of the Kia vehicle line, I was delighted…Read More

A Pirate Treasure in A Box with Loot Crate

Okay, so maybe there aren’t any pirates involved, but seriously, when you hear the word “loot” don’t you think of scurvy pirates, cutlasses, the skull and crossbones, and all of that other mythological pirate gear? Of course you do! The modern version of boarding a ship and stealing their treasure – one that will get you in a lot less trouble with the law – is Loot Crate. The company ships over a dozen different…Read More